METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has paid tribute to veteran heavy metal journalist, historian and documentarian Bob Nalbandian, who passed away on Friday, December 30 in Redding, California. According to Bob's sister, he was recently diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that arises from cells originating in the "mantle zone."
Earlier today (Saturday, December 31),Lars took to his Instagram to share a photo of him with Bob, and he wrote in an accompanying message: "Bob, thank you for your contributions to the hard rock & metal community. For over 40 years your spirit, passion and dedication to this music and everything it represents has been unparalleled and inspiring. Rest in Peace, brother…"
Nalbandian started in the music and entertainment business at age 17 as the publisher/editor in chief of the seminal heavy metal fanzine The Headbanger in April of 1982, a nationally distributed zine which featured the very first profiles of then-unsigned Los Angeles bands METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ARMORED SAINT. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Nalbandian was also a contributing editor to several well-known music mags, including Metal Rendezvous, Creem, Music Connection, Hit Parader, BAM, Foundations as well as associate editor for men's magazines Platinum and Men's Perspective.
Prior to discontinuing The Headbanger in 1985, Nalbandian took on management for the Orange County, California metal metal band EDEN, signing the band to a worldwide deal with Enigma/Restless Records in 1984. In the early 1990s, Nalbandian landed guitarist Marty Friedman in the multi-platinum group MEGADETH and soon after headed the West Coast office of Roadrunner Records, working closely with the label's cutting-edge artists at the time, including SEPULTURA, TYPE O NEGATIVE and LAST CRACK. After a year-long stint at Roadrunner, Nalbandian went on to work for Bizarre/Straight Records (Rhino/WEA) assisting label president Herb Cohen. Throughout the '90, Nalbandian also acquired license deals with major international companies such as Century Media (U.S. and Europe),Roadrunner Japan, Cherry Red/Hear No Evil/Universal Music (Europe),JVC/Victor (Japan),Music For Nations (U.K.),Bandai/Apollon (Japan),Polystar (Japan) and High Vaultage/Metal 4 Muthas (Germany).
Most recently, Nalbandian directed and co-produced the "Inside Metal" documentary film series (MetalRock Films) and the "Band Vs Brand" documentary film (Cleopatra Entertainment). These feature-length documentary films are available on DVD and all the major movie streaming outlets. The "Inside Metal" movies include "Pioneers Of LA Hard Rock And Metal", "LA Metal Scene Explodes", "The Rise Of LA Thrash Metal" and "Bay Area Godfathers" (each film is two parts). Nalbandian was also the founder and host of two major metal podcasts: "Shockwaves Skullsessions" and "Shockwaves/HardRadio".